Flexible Solar Panels: Solar power technology is rapidly evolving each passing year. A host of new developments like organic solar cells, flexible solar panels are constantly being released and worked upon. Keep reading to know everything you must know about flexible solar panels.
Also, Organic solar cells aim to provide an earth-abundant and low-energy-production photovoltaic (PV) solution. We have already discussed a complete guideline of what is Organic Solar Cell and how it works. Therefore, having completed this, we recommend you to go through the specified blog here.
Likewise, you can also check out our list of India’s top 5 largest solar power plants that have made their way worldwide. For further reading, click here.
So, coming back to our topic of the day. Let’s get started!
- What are flexible solar panels (FSPs)?
- Uses of FSPs.
- Properties of FSPs.
- Why Flexible Solar Panels are better than Rigid ones?
- 5 best use cases of FSPs in real-time.
- Wrapping up
- Liked this?? Further read
What are flexible solar panels (FSPs)?
A conventional monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel is certainly made of silicon wafers typically up to 200mm thick (slightly thicker than a human hair). However, to make a flexible solar panel, those silicon wafers are sliced down to just a few micrometers (mm). These ultra-thin Si wafers provide a bunch of unique properties to the solar panels, though flexibility at its top.
Further, the recent research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has given way to various advances in solar cells. Instead of silicon, the team has found its substitute as electrodes of graphene. The only downside of these flexible solar panels is the brittleness of the typical electrodes. However, the transparent and flexible nature of graphene is supposed to solve this issue sooner.
Uses of FSPs.
Some of the prominent uses of these are enlisted below:
a. Flexible solar panels are portable solar power systems as a result, it can be used on-the-go, for RV’s, autos and boats (reducing the energy demand of the boat motor).
b. They can also charge solar batteries.
c. These are low-cost off-grid PV systems, so is found suitable for homes and cabins.
d. It can further be incorporated into new solar energy consumer products.
e. Additionally, these flexible solar panels are best for several expeditions like hiking, cycling, kayaking and climbing.
Properties of FSPs.
Certainly, there are numerous properties of such solar panels but below are some outlining ones:
a. Firstly, it’s available in a variety of sizes to meet everyone’s need.
b. Secondly, it uses the highest-grade materials and processes for manufacturing.
c. Thirdly, it’s a reliable and efficient source of power for a variety of applications.
d. Additionally, flexible solar panels are supposedly great for creating your own solar chargers, products or portable power systems.
Why Flexible Solar Panels are better than Rigid ones?
1.The former is adaptable and lightweight simultaneously providing the same power as their more traditional cousins. Also, they weigh less than a quarter. A 100W Renogy flexible solar panel weighs 4lbs while its competitor 16.5lbs.
2. With flexibility up to 248 degrees, they can consequently adapt to almost any curved surface. This as a result makes them ideal for non-traditional RV shapes or ultra-light vehicles.
3. The extraordinarily low profile of only 0.08 inches thick makes these panels easier to tuck away out of site on your roof.
4. Likewise, withstanding severe weather and waterproofness makes them an ideal addition to almost any RV installation.
5. Above all, the polymer surface of the panel has raised dots which help in gathering sunlight despite the unalterability of the panel’s angle throughout the year. Thus, this cool engineering trick has transformed its handicapped nature into advantageous stuff.
5 best use cases of FSPs in real-time.
1. Renogy 175W Extremely Flexible Solar Panel (Overall best)
Renogy is already known for its line of solar charge controllers and accessories. However, many people don’t know about the production of their solar panels. The special features consists:
- Firstly, their design with bypass diodes that help minimize power drop from shading. It also improves performance in suboptimal lighting conditions.
- Secondly, its incredible flexibility. You can almost bend the Renogy panel in half without any damage. As a result, it can be installed even in cramps or unusual settings like those found on a tiny house.
- Efficiency: 18.4%
- Dimensions: 59.1″×26″×0.08
- Weight: 6.2lbs
- Flex range: 248°
2. Renogy 100W Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel (Most Flexible)
With smaller dimensions than the 175W panel, it consequently provides the same amount of power in a more compact space. Also, it’s just about perfect for mounting on smaller places such as van dwellings or even as a portable solar system. If you like Renogy but needs a smaller version of it, this is your panel.
- Efficiency: 18.4%
- Dimensions: 48.0″×21.6″×0.08″
- Weight: 4.2lbs
- Flex range: 248°
3. AllPowers 100W ETFE Flexible Solar Panel (Budget-friendly)
This updated version of AllPowers popular flexible panel uses an advanced ETFE laminate to improve durability and longevity. It also resolved one of the biggest threat to flex panels – bend-and-crack damage. Thinking how? Here’s the answer. The advanced coating on this panel makes it a lot sturdier and thus long-lasting than others.
- Efficiency: 20.5%
- Dimensions: 50.8″×20.1″×0.09″
- Weight: 4.45lbs
- Flex range: 30°
4. BougeRV 100W Flexible Solar Panel (Budget-friendly)
This panel is highly efficient and made of Monocrystalline solar cells along with ETFE coating. As a result, it has excellent cell efficiency, high-level durability and is perfect to withstand every bump and knock. Further, it’s designed to be weather resistant to help prevent cell degradation. So, if you’re moving through wind or snow, you can feel free as your panels won’t quit on you.
- Efficiency: 23-25%
- Dimensions: 41.3″×21.3″×0.09″
- Weight: 5.73lbs
- Flex Range: 30°
5. RichSolar 100W 12V Flexible Solar Panel:
Offered by RichSolar, this panel uses monocrystalline solar cells with an ETFE laminate. Thus, giving it excellent clarity and durability. Also, its stubby size makes the panel perfect to go when installing in narrower areas like van dwelling or on the roof of a tiny house. However, these panels lack substantial shade protection. To clarify, for limiting the voltage drop, the cells aren’t linked with bypass or any such equipment.
- Dimensions: 41.1″×27.2″×0.11″
- Weight: 4.4lbs
- Flex range: 30°
So, this was all about the most asked queries regarding flexible solar panels. We’ve certainly tried to cover each part in a more elaborated way to make things easy for our readers. Hope you liked it. If so, please share this important piece of information with your kith and kin. Also, don’t forget to enjoy our other amazing blogs until a new one. Till then keep reading, keep supporting.
- Can Solar Panels Be Flexible?
- RIGID VS. FLEXIBLE SOLAR PANELS: THE PROS & CONS OF DIFFERENT STYLES
- 10 Best Flexible Solar Panels Of 2020 [Review]
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